Thursday, September 10, 2009

Adding more useless facts to saints

Well someone has mentioned that the great Pentre Ifan cromlech lies also in a Samson field see TMA folklore by Rhiannon....

George Owen in his 'Description' apparently mentions that the field in which Pentre Ifan stands is called Corlan Samson - Samson's sheepfold. Were his sheep in keeping with his own huge size? It's a bit frightening to think of one big enough to squeeze itself under the capstone.

So the biblical story of Samson has been appended to some of the large stones that have been thrown from the summit of mountains to build the Welsh cromlechs, in many cases with one finger, this throws an interesting light on how this story of Samson came into being. But it looks like we are again with celtic monks who are hanging the christian story of the Herculean Samson onto an old celtic mythology of giants, after all the early British must have been just as confused by these old stones hearking back to an old religion as we are today.

Another tale that shows how near our 'desert' monks were to their celtic pagan brethren, this tale is of Columba's founding of the settlement of Iona, and to quote Geoffrey Ashe (Mythology of the British Isles) its graveyard is dedicated to Oran, and it is the royal graveyard of Scotland, 60 kings, Scottish, Irish and Norwegian are buried here.

One of the tales goes that when Columba arrived he wanted to consecrate the ground with a burial, though according to another version of the tale, the monastic quarters could not be built because the walls kept collapsing and it needed a live burial there. Well up spoke Oran, who had been having a quarrel with another monk about heaven and hell, and he volunteered to be buried! So a pit was dug, Oran placed in it and then the pit was lightly filled (it does'nt say with what in the story). But 20 days later the pit was opened, and Oran's head appeared and uttered these damning words....

'Heaven is not what it is said to be;
Hell is not what it is said to be;
The saved are not for ever happy;
The damned are not for ever lost'

Well this rather jaundiced view of religion seems to reflect the Pelagasian heresy of the old celtic monks, with just a touch of the 'head' motif.

Today we are off to Whitby for the weekend to see my grandchildren, who fortunately are'nt a bit religious and will be more interested in what I have bought them rather than dreary saints, though Whitby of course also likes to dabble in myth with the annual Goths 'do' in the town, when vamperish females in black stalk the town.....

and also a fleeting visit from Darth Vader and his crew to Whitby

No comments:

Post a Comment